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SIBCON 2020: Singapore Bunkering TC Chairman discusses role of Singapore bunkering standards with BIMCO

09 Oct 2020

Seah Khen Hee Chairman of the Singapore Technical Committee for Bunkering, Singapore Standards Council on Wednesday (8 October) shared his thoughts on ‘The Evolving Role of Singapore Bunkering Standards – Changes, Implications and Use Cases’ alongside Christian Bækmark Schiolborg, Manager, Marine Environment at BIMCO.

The SIBCON 2020 session focused especially on two newly launched bunkering standards for the local bunkering sector – SS 660 and TR 80 – as well as the progress shown by the introduction of the mass flow meter (MFM) to the Singapore bunker industry since 2009. 

Briefly, the SS 660 is the code of practice for bunker cargo delivery from oil terminal to bunker tanker using MFM, and TR 80 is on the requirements and procedures for meter verification using a master MFM to verify and check the stability and performance of a duty meter installed on a bunker tanker or at an oil terminal.

“A lot of the challenges in bunkering, i.e delivery from the bunker tanker to the receiving vessel, actually emerges at the start of the bunker supply chain which is the first point of custody transfer between the terminal and the bunker tanker,” explained Seah.

“With SS 660 in place, we hope to be able to address this basic issue because if you can’t receive the correct bunker quantity as ordered, this will lead to incorrect inventory, which will lead to undesired practices downstream when the loaded quantity on the bunker tanker can’t tally with the total quantity delivered to vessel(s).” 

Seah also highlighted that the bunker standards and MFMs in place uphold the integrity of the industry to maintain fair trade as “bunkering is not just about measurement, it is more than just measurement, it’s also about system integrity or to fully receive without shortage the quantity measured”.

“The TR 80 specifies the requirements and procedures for the master meter and for meter verification whereby a meter verification report will be generated to guide further action,” explained Seah. 

Seah noted TR 80 supports the two standards, SS 648 and SS660, through mandated periodic meter verification of the frontline duty MFMs, thereby providing assurance that these MFMs continue to perform to requirements of the two standards.

Specifically, re-calibrating a frontline meter on a bunker tanker can be a very costly and time-consuming process, taking weeks. Acceptance test after re-installation alone takes about three days to complete.

The TR 80 would also be a solution to allow authorities to order a quick spot check on the frontline meters, increase efficiency, uphold trust in the industry, and promote MFM bunkering worldwide. It is a step towards future proofing as the bunker industry moves towards digitisation as MFM bunkering can also be used on alternative marine fuels such as  liquefied natural gas (LNG) and methanol.

Schiolborg responded to Seah by stating BIMCO believes bunkering standards are crucial in ensuring a level playing field for shipping. 

“This is a very important Singapore community driven initiative that will help ensure standardisation, including the implementation of the mass flow metering mentioned by Mr Seah,” said Schiolborg. 

“However, the use of MFMs cannot stand alone as the efforts need to be complemented by the implementation of a bunker licensing scheme and enforced by port authorities to ensure transparency and standardisation.

“The entire Singapore bunkering ecosystem has shown the way and that there are significant joint economical savings to gain by working together in ensuring a level playing field for all through standardisation.

“BIMCO will continue to encourage the rest of the world to follow the example set by the Singapore community when it comes to both mass flow metering and bunker licensing schemes.”

A series of SIBCON 2020 related articles have been earlier written by Manifold Times:

Related: SIBCON 2020: Singapore enters memorandum of cooperation on future fuels port network
Related: SIBCON 2020: Equatorial Marine Fuels provides view on local and global bunker markets post Covid-19
Related: SIBCON 2020: BIMCO Chief Shipping Analyst explains new business dynamics in bunker fuels sector
Related: Chairman of Technical Committee for Bunkering explains SS 660, TR 80; and cast an eye to the future
Related: SIBCON 2020: TR 48 reaps annual savings of at least SGD 80 million for bunkering sector
Related: SIBCON 2020: Singapore introduces new MFM bunkering standards SS 660 and TR 80
Related: SIBCON 2020: Powering Fuels of the Future, Driving towards Decarbonisation
Related: SIBCON 2020: Senior Minister highlights ‘quality resilience and sustainability’ for bunkering sector
Related: Infineum explains: ISO 8217:2017 should be viewed as a ‘minimum performance benchmark’ for VLSFOs
Related: Interview: Hafnia shares IMO 2020 preparations, promotes transparency for bunkering operations
Related: VPS: Shipowners face ‘tricky situation’ to balance VLSFO shelf life and wax appearance temperature
Related: VPS: Big data analysis reveals link between Covid-19 and spike in low flashpoint MGO off-spec cases
Related: Interview: Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions discusses sector growth, IMO 2020, and future plans
Related: SIBCON 2020: Evolution to a ‘completely different’ bunkering industry event, says organiser
Related: Singapore: SIBCON 2020 bunkering event to be hosted virtually

Photo credit: SIBCON 2020
Published: 8 October, 2020


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